Hot Springs National Park is quite an interesting town. It is the only place I have been so far where the town is actually the park! One side of the street is protected by the Park service and is home to marble bath houses and historic hotels, while the opposite side is the city of Hot Springs.
The Hot Springs area was one of the first protected reservations when in 1832 Congress formed the national reservation, granting federal protection of the thermal waters and giving Hot Springs the honor of being the first area to be designated for federal government protection. The Hot Springs Reservation was set aside for public use as a park on June 16, 1880.
The Park was given National Park status in 1921. After that, it was searched out by many as a retreat, believing the hot waters held healing properties. Today, we would compare it to Las Vegas and all of the gambling that Sin City is known for. Even Al Capone spent a significant amount of time at the springs, hoping the baths would cure him of syphilis.
Interestingly, the Fordyce Bath House has ben renovated to be like they were back in the 20s. Marble statues and stairways fill the halls and it now operates as the parks visitor center. A free museum is available to teach you about the interesting past housed in these mountains.
Surrounding the town are four mountains that have some great but short hikes. The in city hikes are all under 3 miles and most lead to the observatory tower on top of North Mountain. There is one 22 mi long hike for the explorer that follows the ridges of all four mountains giving you a total tour of the area.
Closest Supercharger Little Rock AK 44 mi
Outlets of Little Rock, Bass Pro Parkway #11201, Little Rock, AR 72209
369 Central Ave, Hot Springs, AR 71901